DAYR AL-MALAK MIKHA’IL (Naj‘ al-Dayr)
A monastery slightly to the east of the village of Naj‘ al-Dayr, which is about 22 miles (35 km) south of Akhmim. There are a church, a cemetery, and a few houses nearby but no other remaining monastery buildings. The church may originally have been a typical hall church with columns (see Grossmann, 1982, pp. 196ff.; he assigns this to his second group). The oldest part consists of three nearly rectangular sanctuaries flanked by rectangular corner rooms. The middle sanctuary is larger than the others. All three have an eastern niche covered by a fine, shell-decorated half-dome.
West of these five original rooms are two rows of bays, subdivided by three columns and one pier. The three additional bays at the southwest and two asymmetrical entrances may represent later alterations. Other changes include the reshaping of the southeastern corner room and the addition of a sixth room at the northeast, with a bay west of it. Perhaps at the same time a separate building, containing a large LAQQAN (mandatum tank) and a well, was added north of the church. It is difficult to establish a date for this church. Since a monastery at this place is mentioned in the early sixteenth century, it may belong to this period.
- Clarke, S. Christian Antiquities in the Nile Valley, pp. 140ff., pl. 41,2. Oxford, 1912.
- Grossmann, P. Mittelalterliche Langhauskuppelkirchen und verwandte Typen in Oberägypten, p. 211. Glückstadt, 1982.
- Meinardus, O. Christian Egypt: Ancient and Modern, pp. 300-301. Cairo, 1965.
- Timm, S. Das christlich-koptische Ägypten in arabischer Zeit, Vol. 2, pp. 733-34. Wiesbaden, 1984.